A Letter from Rick Sontag, President and Founder of Brain Tumor Network
It’s amazing to see how BTN has developed into a major resource for brain tumor patients. In 2014 we started with just a concept and hired one nurse navigator to start the program. Now we soon will have a staff of 20 dedicated professionals. Over the last two years we’ve developed new systems and tools that allow our staff to locate the proper resources for patients much faster. This means we can now serve many more patients. So we’re getting the word out more broadly with a major marketing campaign.
Already we are the largest brain tumor patient support organization of its kind in the US. We are approaching 2000 patients served, almost a third of which are referred to us from medical service providers. Now we’re ramping up more, including our expansion to handle pediatric brain tumor patients.
Recently, it got more personal for me. One of my close relatives was just diagnosed with an unusual form of brain tumor. When I got the phone call telling me of the tumor diagnosis, it was obvious what to do to get help. I walked down the hall and gave the information about my relative to BTN. The BTN team quickly got on the case, and my relative will shortly be presented some options that would have been difficult for the average person to find. When I was confronted with the same situation with my wife Susan 26 years ago, it took me weeks to sort through information to find a treatment path. And then I was still unsure if I had made the right choice. That experience gave me the inspiration for BTN. It’s a thrill to see my dream turned into a reality.